With the 2014 FIFA World Cup capturing the attention of the globe, CUBuffs.com tracked down a couple of its own futbol players to get their takes on the event.
Darcy Jerman and Bianca Jones are both Colorado natives, entering their senior seasons. Jones, from Aurora, and Jerman, from Colorado Springs, grew up around the sport locally and were mainstays on Colorado's 2013 NCAA Tournament team. Both played in all 23 contests a year ago; Jerman, a midfielder, was fourth on the team in both goals (3) and points (7). Jones, who has been a fixture on the Buffaloes' defense for three seasons, had an assist along with 10 shots to her credit in 2013.
Sophomore Alex Huynh and transfer Kahlia Hogg both grew up rooting for the "Socceroos" in their native Australia. Huynh, who hails from Sadleir in New South Wales, had an outstanding freshman season for Colorado's backfield, participating in 23 matches with three assists. Hogg, who is from Campbell in the Australian Capital Territory, played in 18 matches over two seasons for Florida State. She will be a junior at Colorado for 2014.
The United States plays its final Group Match on Thursday against Germany with a chance to advance to the knockout stage (Round of 16) beginning this weekend). Australia wrapped up its World Cup on Monday, falling in all three matches during group play.
The Colorado futbol quartet chimed in on the following topics:
Who is your favorite player in the World Cup?
Jerman: Neymar Jr., Brazil
Huynh: Thiago Silva, Brazil
Jones: DaMarcus Beasley, United States. Because he's an outside back and I admire his skill, athletic ability and the amount of time that he has been able to play soccer.
Hogg: Mario Gotze, Germany and Jack Wilshere, England
What is your favorite World Cup (or national futbol) memory:
Jerman: When the U.S women won the 1999 World Cup. Brandi Chastain’s PK
Huynh: When the Socceroos qualified for the 2006 World Cup, finally qualifying after 32 years; they achieved it through a penalty shoot out against Uruguay.
Jones: When Zidane head-butted Marco Materazzi (in the 2006 World Cup) - definitely not a good memory but extremely memorable.
Hogg: I loved watching (Andres) Iniesta's game winning goal last World Cup (for Spain).
What are your fondest memories of playing futbol while growing up?
Jerman: I’ve been playing since I was five.
Huynh: I have been playing since I was 4-years old. My fondest memory is making the U17 Australian team.
Jones: I have played soccer since I was about 4 or 5 years old, and my most fond memories are when I was on showcase tournaments with my teammates.
Hogg: Yes (and I still do). Lots of great football memories.
What makes futbol unique in your home country?
Jerman: It's such a growing sport. So many people around the world love soccer and it's finally catching on in the U.S.
Huynh: It's a large part of Australian culture.
Jones: What makes futbol so unique in America is the growing popularity of it and the mass amounts of people that fall in love with the sport everyday due to the moments that nobody believes that there's a chance, then all of a sudden miracles can happen.
Hogg: I wouldn't say there is anything particularly unique although I think Australian footballers are characterized by a level of physicality and the willingness to battle hard.
What is a typical setting or gathering for a World Cup in your country
Huynh: To grab heaps of your mates and head down to the local pub or around to a mates place and watch the game.
Jones: Either some of my friends at a house or at a sports bar over mounds of food
Hogg: Because the time difference is usually unfavorable it means waking up early and dragging yourself out to the couch to watch with family and friends. Also, since it is winter time back home there are usually lots of blankets, tea, and biscuits.
What are some things that the average American may not know about futbol in your country?
Huynh: Our National team is called the Socceroos (soccer + kangaroos).
Jones: Is how popular soccer is in other parts of the world.
Hogg: Football is a very popular sport for young kids.
Where have you been watching the World Cup?
Jerman: I’ll be watching the game with friends and family as various places. I watch certain games with certain people if they like a team. If the U.S. is playing I have got to be at a restaurant or bar with a ton of crazy fans.
Huynh: With a bunch of mates at the local, wearing my Aussie colours.
Jones: I will either be watching USA at a sports bar, the huge projection on Pearl Street or at home with family and friends.
Hogg: Here in Boulder since I am taking summer school.
If given the chance to play for your country for one game, and had a penalty kick, would you want to be on the attack or would you want to be the goal keeper? Who would be the opponent?
Jerman: I would want to be on the attack. I would want the opponent to be Germany. They have always been such a good team so beating them in penalty kicks would be amazing.
Huynh: I would definitely want to be taking the penalty. Who wouldn’t want the chance to score a goal for their national team? I would love to score against the US team.
Jones: It would be Norway because my mom is from Norway and it would be the coolest thing ever. The opponent would be USA because it would just be an interesting to play against my home country.
Hogg: I would love to score the winning penalty in a World Cup final against the USA